In one of my college courses, I learned the phrase “TMI” (Too Much Information) from one of my professors who did not want to hear details about student’s personal lives. I hope she stays away from Facebook and Twitter because these days, many people are over sharing information on their social media profiles. A recent survey of 2,000 households found that 52% are posting some form of personal information online that falls under risky social media behavior. The survey also showed that 9% of the social network users were victims of some form of fraud or abuse in the past year ranging from malware to identity theft.
Consumer Reports has come up with a list of seven things that users should stop doing on Facebook — Here are 3 that I did not realize were so important for protecting privacy online. Do not:
- List a full birth date — Of course you want to include this information in your profile so that all of your Facebook friends wish you a happy birthday, but removing the year can help protect against identity theft.
- Overlook privacy controls — Social media sites are always making changes to how your personal info can be used so make sure you are aware of the most current policies. We discussed this back in December when Facebook adjusted its privacy settings.
- Let information be found in search engines — Did you know you can turn off this option to decrease the chances of a stranger finding you?
They also encourage users to not use a weak password or mention being away from home. For parents, make sure to avoid posting your child’s name in a photo caption and monitor your child’s use of social networking sites. Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but the more you do to protect your privacy, the better! Do you have any helpful tips for keeping your personal information safe?
This post was first published by Danielle Sherman on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.